Indian Science Congress (ISC) 2019 was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 3rd January. The 106th Session of Indian Science Congress, 2019 was held from January 3-7, 2019 at Lovely Professional University, Jalandhar, and Punjab.
During the Congress, significant lectures from three Nobel Laureates; 20 Plenary Sessions & several sectional symposia with top authorities from DRDO, ISRO, DST, ICAR, CSIR, ICMR, AICTE, NAAC, UGC, ISCA, the USA, UK Universities, were attended by nearly 30,000 participants. More than fifteen thousand delegates participated at this scientific meet.
“The DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill – 2019” passed in Lok Sabha:
In a landmark decision, the Lok Sabha passed “The DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill – 2019” on 8th January, 2019. The Bill has been formulated recognizing the need for regulation of the use and application of Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) technology, for establishing identity of missing persons, victims, offenders, under trials and unknown deceased persons.
MoU signed for Inter-Ministerial Cooperation for Promotion and Facilitation of Agricultural Biotechnology Research and Education:
The DBT and ICAR entered into Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 15th January, 2019 for much-needed emphasis on multi-disciplinary R&D activities and nurturing innovations in Agricultural Biotechnology Research and Education.
Highlighting the importance of the MoU, Secretary DBT, Mrs. Renu Swarup said that five to ten focused programmes both short, medium and long term will be developed and implemented. Major facilities and technology platforms created by both the agencies will be accessible to the National systems and a joint working group will be constituted to take the partnership forward.
Chief Executive of UK Research and Innovation addresses Prime Minister’s Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC):
On 16th January, the Chief Executive of UK Research and Innovation, Professor Mark Walport, during his two-day visit to Delhi, at the invitation of Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, Professor K. Vijay Raghavan met and addressed the Prime Minister’s Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC).
Chaired by Professor K. Vijay Raghavan, the PM-STIAC is an overarching body that assesses specific science and technology domains in India, and formulates interventions and roadmaps. It advises the India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi on all matters of science, technology and innovation.
One Health India Conference, 2019 held:
Two-day long One Health India Conference, 2019 was inaugurated on 18th February in New Delhi. The Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology in partnership with the Departments of Agriculture Research and Education (DARE) and Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries (DAHDF), Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare; the Departments of Health Research (DHR) and Health & Family Welfare (DHFW), Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, hosted the “One Health India Conference”. The conference aimed to launch India’s new One Health Initiative – an inter-sectoral approach to tackling the most urgent health threats in India as well as in low and middle income countries across South and South East Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Department of Biotechnology celebrates its 33rd Foundation Day:
The Department of Biotechnology in the Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India, celebrated its 33rd Foundation Day in New Delhi on 26th February with the theme as “Celebrating Biotechnology: Building Indian as an Innovation Nation”. On the occasion, Union Minister for Science & Technology, Dr. Harsh Vardhan gave away the Biotechnology Research Innovation and Technology Excellence (BRITE) awards.
The Minister announced key missions at the foundation day ceremony including Atal JaiAnusandhan Biotech Mission – Undertaking Nationally Relevant Technology Innovation (UNaTI), which is expected to transform Health, Agriculture and Energy sectors during the next 5 years. This mission included GARBH-ini – A Mission to promote Maternal and Child Health and develop prediction tools for pre-term berth, IndCEPI – A Mission to develop affordable vaccines for endemic diseases, Development of Biofortified and Protein Rich wheat – contributing to POSHAN Abhiyan, Mission on Anti Microbial Resistance for Affordable Diagnostics and Therapeutics and Clean Energy Mission – Innovative Technology interventions for Swachh Bharat.
Cabinet approves MoU between India and UK on Cancer Research Initiative:
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 7th March, 2019, has approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and U.K. on Cancer Research Initiative. The MoU was signed on 14th November 2018.
Photo Exhibition titled “Celebrating Indian Women in Science: An Incredible Journey” organised:
The Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India in Partnership with India International Centre, New Delhi, organized a Photo Exhibition on 7th March, 2019, titled “Celebrating Indian Women in Science: An Incredible Journey”. The aim of the exhibition was to remember, acknowledge and showcase the stories of great Indian women scientists on International women’s day, who have contributed to the development of science through their outstanding work.
Cabinet approves five years’ extension of Biomedical Research Career Programme:
The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on 27th March approved the continuation of the Biomedical Research Career Programme (BRCP), and Wellcome Trust (WT)/DBT India Alliance beyond its initial 10-year term (2008-09 to 2018-29) to a new five year phase (2019-20 to 2023-24) with Department of Biotechnology (DBT) increasing its commitment to two times that of WT. The total financial implication will be Rs. 1092 crore with DBT and WT contributing Rs.728 crore and Rs.364 crore respectively.
Government and IIT-Delhi to set up a Centre of Excellence for Waste to Wealth Technologies:
The Principal Scientific Advisor to the Govt of India, Prof K. Vijay Raghavan and Director, IIT Delhi, Prof V. Ramgopal Rao signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 2nd May, in New Delhi for setting up a Centre of Excellence for Waste to Wealth Technologies for implementation of sustainable, scientific and technological solutions for waste management, through validation and deployment of available technologies for transformation of waste to wealth.
MoU for Joint Collaboration on Cancer Research:
The Department of Biotechnology (DBT), M/o Science and Technology and the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), Government of India on 22nd May signed an MoU for supporting joint collaborative research programmes in the area of Cancer. This MOU shall help strengthen the various initiatives specifically for cancer viz. Strategizing and prioritizing cancer research, development of new and affordable technologies, jointly design and fund clinical trials, coordinate and collaborate for translational research, interventions, training of manpower and infrastructure development.
Launch of electronic collection facility of Non-Tax Receipts of Survey of India The electronic collection facility for the costs of maps and other publications will now be available at all the sale counters of Survey of India (SoI). This will help students, researchers and other customers to buy what they would need using credit/ debit cards etc.
Cabinet approves signing of Memorandum of Understanding between India and Thailand in the field of Astronomy (12th June):
The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was apprised of a Memorandum of Understanding on the cooperation between India and Thailand in the field of Astronomy / Astrophysics / Atmospheric Science. The MoU will lead to new scientific results, human resource development through increased scientific interaction and training, joint use of scientific infrastructure etc. The MoU was signed in November, 2018.
Cabinet approves Intimation of Letter of Intent between India and Costa Rica in the field of Biotechnology:
The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was apprised of signing of Lotter of Intent (LOI) between India and Costa Rica in the field of Biotechnology.
Cabinet approves Inter-Institutional Agreement between India and USA for cooperation in the field of medicine:
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 17th July gave ex-post facto approval to the Inter-Institutional Agreement between India and the USA in the areas of regenerative medicine and 3D bioprinting, new technologies, exchange of scientific ideas/information and technologies, and joint use of scientific infrastructure.
Drones to undertake Large scale Mapping of Village areas in Maharashtra:
Survey of India, the national mapping agency of the country under the Min of Science & Technology has signed an MoU with Department of revenue & Land records, Govt of Maharashtra to undertake the Large scale Mapping of Village Gaothan (Aabadi) areas in the State of Maharashtra using drones.
India joins the Global Antimicrobial Resistance Research and Development Hub:
India joined the Global Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Research and Development (R&D) Hub as a new member on 12th September. This expands the global partnership working to address challenges and improve coordination and collaboration in global AMR R&D to 16 countries, the European Commission, two philanthropic foundations and four international organisations (as observers).
National Centre for Clean Coal Research & Development inaugurated at Bengaluru:
Union Minister of Science & Technology, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, inaugurated the National Centre for Clean Coal Research and Development at Indian Institute of Science (IISc)-Bengaluru on 16th September. Government of India through Department of Science & Technology, has set up the National Centre for Clean Coal Research and Development (NCCCR&D) as a national level consortium on clean coal R&D, led by the Indian Institute of Science (IISc)-Bengaluru.
Government launches ‘UMMID’ initiative to tackle inherited genetic diseases of new born babies:
The Union Minister for Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Health & Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan on 23rd September launched UMMID (Unique Methods of Management and treatment of Inherited Disorders) initiative and inaugurated NIDAN (National Inherited Diseases Administration) Kendras.
25th edition of DST-CII India Netherlands Technology Summit inaugurated at New Delhi on 15th October:
Inaugurating the 25th edition of DST-CII India Netherlands Technology Summit at New Delhi by His Majesty King Willem-Alexander of The Netherlands and Union Minister for Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Health & Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, expressed their pleasure at the successful collaboration in Science & Technology between the two countries. ‘NEXUS’ was the central theme of the summit, discussing how to co-create on pioneering innovative solutions for global challenges related to water, food and good health for all.
Cabinet approves proposal for Agreement on Science and Technology Cooperation between India and the United States of America:
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 23rd October approved the proposal for Agreement on Science and Technology Cooperation between India and the United States of America. The Agreement would provide an opportunity to promote ‘high quality’ and ‘high impact’ research and innovation partnerships as well as broadening and expanding relationships between the extensive scientific and technological communities.
Guidelines Released for Evaluation of Nanopharmaceuticals in India on 24th October:
While releasing the guidelines, Dr. Harsh Vardhan informed that these “Guidelines for Evaluation of Nanopharmaceuticals in India” is one of the most important steps for delineating quality, safety and efficacy assessment of the novel nanoformulations. He further added that these guidelines are intended to provide transparent, consistent and predictable regulatory pathways for nanopharmaceuticals in India. The guidelines will pave the way for significant benefits through such cutting edge technology and contribute to the mission on “Affordable Health Care for All”.
India and Netherlands launched the second phase of the LOTUS-HR (Local Treatment of Urban Sewage streams for Healthy Reuseplant) as a part of joint collaboration:
During the visit of His Majesty King Willem-Alexander and Her Majesty, Queen Maxima of the Kingdom of the Netherlands a joint launch of the second phase of the Local Treatment of Urban Sewage streams for Healthy Reuse (LOTUS-HR) program was done by the Union Minister for Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Health & Family Welfare Dr. Harsh Vardhan on 5th October. The launch programme was held during the visit of Netherlands King & the Queen to the India-Netherlands water laboratory at the Barapullah drain in Delhi.
5th India International Science Festival held in Kolkata from 5th to 8th November, 2019:
The Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated via video conference, the 5th India International Science Festival at Kolkata on 5th November. Addressing on the occasion, Prime Minister said the theme of the festival “RISEN: Research, Innovation and Science Empowering the Nation” reflects the aspirations of 21st century India. He said science and technology has a major impact on society, and therefore government is providing the Institutional Support for both Invention and Innovation. Advocating for a strong ecosystem supporting Science and Technology, he said every effort is being taken to support innovation in the country.
India’s first-ever global Mega-Science exhibition, ‘Vigyan Samagam’, inaugurated at the Science City in Kolkata (4th November):
This multi-venue Science Exhibition, after its successful journey in Mumbai and Bengaluru, opened for public in Kolkata from 4th November till December 31, 2019. The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), Department of Science and Technology (DST), the funding agencies of these projects and the National Council of Science Museums (NCSM), Ministry of Culture, who are venue partners and having expertise in design and hosting such exhibitions, have joined hands to organize this prestigious Science Exhibition.
3-day Global Bio-India Summit, 2019 inaugurated (21st November):
Union Ministers Dr. Harsh Vardhan and Dharmendra Pradhan also inaugurated the Global Bio-India Exhibition. Global Bio-India is one of the largest biotechnology stakeholders conglomerate being held in India for the first time. Over 3,000 delegates from around 25 countries and over 15 states of India are participating in the mega event.
5th Meeting of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)
The 5th Meeting of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Member States’ Heads of Ministries and Departments of Science and Technology and Permanent Working Group on S&T Cooperation concluded in Moscow, Russia on 21st November. Secretary, DSIR & DG, CSIR, Dr. Shekhar C. Mande, led the Indian delegation. India will be the host of Council of Heads of Government (Prime Ministers) of SCO Member States in 2020, which will approve the Draft SCO Roadmap on cooperation between research institutions of SCO Member States for the period 2021-2023.
Global Bio-India Awards presented on 22nd November:
Presenting the awards, the Union Minister of Railways and Minister of Commerce & Industry, Piyush Goyal said the Government has simplified the Patents regime for Start-ups, MSMEs among others to encourage innovation. He assured the Department of Industrial will extend all support to new and emerging enterprises in Biotechnology sector.
8th Foundation Day of Global Innovation and Technology Alliance (GITA) (PPP between Department of Science & Technology (DST) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)) held on 28th November:
Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Dr. Harsh Vardhan recognized and felicitated the exceptional performance of GITA project in contributing towards enhancing the country’s innovation ecosystem. The theme of the event was ‘Making India Future Ready’.
Prime Minister confers Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar (SSB) prizes for the years 2016, 2017 and 2018:
The Prime Minister Narendra Modi conferred Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar (SSB) prizes for the years 2016, 2017 and 2018 in New Delhi on 28th February. The SSB prize is awarded each year on the basis of conspicuously important and outstanding contributions to human knowledge and progress, made through work done primarily in India during the five years, preceding the year of the prize.
Redefined units of measurement of kilogram, Kelvin, mole and ampere implented in India by CSIR-NPL:
After decades of ground-breaking laboratory works, the world’s scientific and technical community, in a landmark and historic decision taken in the recent open session of the General Conference on Weights and Measures (CGPM) at BIPM on 16th November 2018, has unanimously adopted the resolution to redefine four of the seven base units, the kilogram (SI unit of weight), Kelvin (SI unit of temperature), mole (SI unit of amount of substance), and ampere (SI unit of current). The new SI is being implemented worldwide from 20th May 2019 i.e. the World Metrology Day by CSIR-NPL in India.
NSG facility inaugurated at CSIR-CCMB:
Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, Dr Harsh Vardhan inaugurated the Next Generation Sequencing (NSG) facility at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMC) in Hyderabad on 20th July. The facility includes technology for high genome sequencing and also diagnostic sequencing of clinical samples. The state of art machine, acquired at a cost of Rs. 8 crore can sequence 18,000 samples in 8 minutes. The NGS would help prenatal genetic screening and counselling, thereby generating large scale genomic data critical for diagnosis and therapy.
First Indigenous Fuel Cell System developed by CSIR launched on CSIR Foundation Day on 26th September 2019:
The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, on 26th September unveiled the first Indigenous High Temperature Fuel Cell System developed by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in partnership with Indian industries under India’s flagship program named “New Millennium Indian Technology Leadership Initiative (NMITLI)” on the occasion of CSIR Foundation Day in New Delhi. A unique example of Public-Private Partnership (PPP) among CSIR’s three Laboratories [CSIR-NCL, Pune; CSIR-NPL, New Delhi & CSIR-CECRI, Karaikudi (Chennai Center)] and two Indian industries; M/s Thermax Limited, Pune and M/s Reliance Industries Limited, Mumbai exemplified exploiting materials of science developments at CSIR laboratories into practice by Industry.
President of India presents awards for outstanding contributions in Science and Technology on the occasion of CSIR Foundation Day on 26th September:
The President lauded the accomplishments of CSIR and its technological interventions towards the socio-economic development of the nation. The President presented the CSIR Technology Awards to teams of CSIR and the G.N. Ramachandran Gold Medal to Prof. Amitabha Chattopadhyay of CSIR-CCMB.
Union Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan launches “Green Crackers” developed by CSIR in a bid to curb air pollution on 5th October:
Green logo and QR coding system was also launched to track manufacture & sale of counterfeit crackers. Union Minister for Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan announced that Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) labs have been successful in developing various environment-friendly fireworks such as sound emitting crackers, flowerpots, pencils, chakkar and sparklers.
CSIR conducts Whole Genome Sequencing of over 1,000 Indians for Biomedical Applications:
The CSIR has conducted Whole Genome Sequencing of 1,008 Indians from different populations across the country. Announcing details of the IndiGen Genome project, the Union Minister for Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Health & Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan said that the whole genome data will be important for building the knowhow, baseline data and indigenous capacity in the emerging area of Precision Medicine.
CSIR signs MoU with KVIC on promotion of honey production Khadi outlets to also display CSIR products on 5th December:
The Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) to leverage the expertise available in CSIR with the effort of KVIC for promotion of honey production and also to enable wider outreach of the CSIR technologies and products.
MOU signed between Ministry of AYUSH and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research on 22nd April 2019
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the Ministry of AYUSH and CSIR, New Delhi for cooperation in research and education in areas of traditional systems of medicine and its integration with modern science.
CSIR signs MoU with Indian Navy on 5th April 2019
The Indian Navy and CSIR signed a MoU to undertake joint research and development of advanced technologies for the Indian Navy. This will be a collaborative arrangement between labs of CSIR, the Indian Navy and Indian industry.
HPCL & CSIR have developed BND
HPCL and CSIR–NPL released 26 Petroleum BNDs (Bharatiya Nideshak Dravya or Indian Reference Material) coinciding with the occasion of World Metrology Day. These will be of immense use for BS VI fuels and will save foreign exchange through import substitution for Certified Reference Materials (CRMs). This will provide traceability for all vital parameters of Petroleum products testing and certification comprising of 13 physical properties, 2 Physicochemical properties and 11 Chemical properties, including BND for sulfur content measurement at lower concentrations which will be of immense use for BS VI fuels.
CSIR and IIT Delhi Signed an MoU on 16th July 2019
CSIR and IIT Delhi, have entered into an agreement with five of the renowned National Laboratories of CSIR Viz CSIR-Advanced Materials and Processes Research Institute, CSIR-Central Scientific Instruments Organisation, CSIR-Central Electronics Engineering Research Institute, CSIR-Institute of Minerals & Materials Technology, CSIR-National Physical Laboratory. As a part of MoU, IIT Delhi plans to promote collaborative research, exchange of ideas, development of knowledge, enhancing high quality research throughput. IIT Delhi and CSIR aspire to leverage the mutual expertise to contribute to the socio economic needs of the country.
Union Minister of S&T Dr. Harsh Vardhan inaugurated a demonstration plant for converting plastic waste to diesel
Honourable Union Minister of S&T Dr. Harsh Vardhan inaugurated a demonstration plant for converting plastic waste to diesel based on technology developed by CSIR-IIP. This plant can convert one tonne of plastic waste into 800 liters of diesel every day that is of automotive grade and is in collaboration with Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) India.
CSIR-NPL designated as the National Verifciation Agency for Air quality monitoring instruments
Union environment ministry has designated CSIR-NPL as the national verification agency for certifying instruments and equipment for monitoring emissions and ambient air quality, which will assist in maintaining standards of instruments and data of air quality being collected.
CSIR-IICT has signed a global licensing pact with Sun Pharma
CSIR-IICT has signed a global licensing pact with Sun Pharma for patents on dermatology, ophthalmology and oncology. Sun Pharma will pay upfront and milestone linked payments upto Rs 240 crore and royalties to CSIR-IICT from commercialization.
Joint Workshops conducted by CSIR and Fraunhofer, Germany
Series of workshops were conducted between CSIR and Fraunhofer Institute, Germany towards Indo – German collaboration in Research and Innovation towards leapfrogging in Frontier Technologies.
CSIR and National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (National Institutes of Health) USA, signed an MoU
The MoU was to strengthen and develop research cooperation related to environmental health sciences with emphasis on understanding the health effects associated with exposure to air poluttants and other environmental chemicals.
Smart Aerospace Composite Manufacturing Facility was inaugurated, by Union Minister of S&T and ES
Smart Aerospace Composite Manufacturing Facility was inaugurated, by Hon’ble Union Minister of S&T and ES which will produce high quality lightweight polymer composite airframes for the HANSA-NG program of CSIR-NAL and the present prototyping facility shall produce 3 to 4 aircraft per year.
Union Minister of S&T and ES inaugurated at CSIR-NCL Venture Center, a MedTech clean room facility
Hon’ble Union Minister of S&T and ES inaugurated at CSIR-NCL Venture Center, a Med Tech clean room facility which is designed for the manufacture of medical devices and diagnostic services for undertaking clinical study and testing purposes. This has the potential to boost the innovation ecosystem and startups in the medical devices sector.
International training programme on Petroleum Refining Technology and Petrochemicals conducted by CSIR-IIP
A eight weeks international training programme on Petroleum Refining Technology and Petrochemicals was conducted by CSIR-IIP, Dehradun. About 15 foreign Government officials mainly from African countries participated in the programme under Indian Technical Economic Cooperation.
CSIR-NEERI, Nagpur launched the Indian air quality Interactive Repository or IndAIR
CSIR-NEERI, Nagpur launched the Indian air quality Interactive Repository or IndAIR which has archived approximately 700 scanned materials from pre-internet era (1950-1999), 1215 research articles, 170 reports and case studies, 100 cases and over 2,000 statues, to provide the history of air pollution research and legislation in the county. Such a repository on the subject of air pollution is one of the first in the world.
CSIR-TKDL (Traditional Knowledge Digital Library) signs Agreement with Asiam Agri History Foundation
An agreement with Asian Agri History Foundation, at Pant Nagar was signed by TKDL for cooperation related to digitization and inclusion of information on traditional Indian agriculture and allied domains
CSIR has signed MoU with CNRS, France
MoU signed with CNRS, France for Promotion & Support of Scientific & Technological Research in areas of mutual interest including including plant and marine biotechnology; health research; environment and climate change studies; engineering science and technology; material science and technology; energy science and technology and water research.
CSIR-IHBT, Palampur and Ladakh Farmers and Producers Co-operative Limited (LFPCL) have entered into an MoU
The MoU is to grow saffron in Ladakh using tissue culture technology for production of disease free, healthy and flowering sized saffron corms in the non-traditional areas of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Leh, North East and hilly regions of Tamil Ladu.
Zero Waste Potash technology developed by CSIR-CSMCRI
The efforts of CSIR scientists from CSIR-CSMCRI who have developed a technology for recovery valuable potash from spent wash and saves foreign exchanges and prevents hazardous spent wash being discarded was appreciated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.